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This is Part 5 of Cannabiz Media’s 5-part Guide to SEO for Cannabis Businesses and Cannabis-Related Businesses. Follow the links to read Part 1 – Introduction, Part 2 – On-Site SEO, Part 3 – On-Page SEO, and Part 4 – Off-Site SEO.
So far in the Guide to SEO for Cannabis Businesses and Cannabis-Related Businesses, you’ve learned about things you can do to improve your website’s search engine rankings based on Google’s 200 search ranking factors. Now, it’s time to focus on SEO mistakes that you should avoid so you don’t negate all of your hard work.
SEO problems can happen on your site, on specific pages, and off-site. Let’s take a closer look at some of the things you should always avoid so Google doesn’t penalize your site or ban it from appearing in search results entirely.
Google’s algorithm and its human quality raters are continually evaluating websites and web pages to flag content it deems to be spam and ensure no one is gaming the system.
In effort to always deliver the best results to every search query, Google has a zero tolerance policy against a number of blackhat SEO tactics that aim to get around its system of catching spammy SEO tactics and penalizing sites that use them.
Following are 20 of the SEO mistakes you should avoid to stay on Google’s good side so your site and pages have a chance to appear in search results.
While the above SEO mistakes are essential to avoid being penalized, there are many additional mistakes you should avoid in order to improve your search rankings. In simplest terms, avoid doing anything that is the opposite of Google’s 200 ranking factors.
Once Google penalizes your site (whether or not you’re guilty), it’s very difficult – if not impossible – to get back on Google’s good side. Once your site is penalized, your cannabis business or cannabis-related business could lose all search traffic. You don’t want that to happen, so always avoid the SEO mistakes listed above.
Following are 10 questions to ask yourself as you work to avoid making detrimental SEO mistakes. If you can answer yes to these questions, then you should be safe.
Most Google penalties were put in place to weed out bad content and ensure searchers get the best results. Review Google’s Quality Guidelines to make sure you don’t make any penalty-generating mistakes.
It’s important to understand that avoiding SEO mistakes today isn’t enough. Google updates its algorithm all the time, so to stay out of trouble, you need to keep up with the most current SEO best practices.
Just one mistake could get your site penalized and banned from Google search results entirely. For cannabis businesses and ancillary businesses that can’t advertise using Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, and other popular digital advertising networks, search traffic is critical to generate brand awareness, leads, and sales.
Bottom-line, don’t try to get around Google. You need to play in Google’s sandbox and follow its rules if you want people to be able to find your website in Google search results.
That means you shouldn’t look for a quick rise in rankings, because big jumps typically involve shady practices. Instead, invest in SEO as a long-term strategy that when coupled with a strong content marketing plan, can deliver significant results.